Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.” Matthew 26:36-46
There are things I really rather not do and some which are so painful and hard they seem impossible to face. I wish that God would take away the responsibility and the pain, the impossible tasks and the betrayals. I have been searching for a way out of a very hard and complex situation that is directly before me. Today I have decided to pray for the courage and strength to face what is ahead with God's love and compassion.
Jesus has celebrated with his disciples their traditions and is full of food, drink and anticipation. Nothing will be the same after this night and he knows it. He would rather, like all of us, continue in the love of friends and in the fellowship of community, but it is not to be. He pleads, very humanly to have the cup taken away, and finally asks for the strength and courage to see God's will complete. We humans wisely run from danger and conflict, but there are times we need to face it head on. God is inviting us to know we are never alone in what we face, and we will be guided and strengthened as we seek to do God's will.
Today I ask God to help me face what is before us and to seek God's will in every moment. May we, who have been running away, turn and face the places we are called, knowing we will never face what is ahead alone, but will be surrounded by God's mighty love.